Why Use Talk Therapy?

Millions of people across the globe suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and addiction. These conditions can cause intense suffering for the people who have them and can also bring with them impairment in ability to function on the job and socially. When talk therapy is provided by an expert like me, the improvement for the client can be just as good, if not better in many cases, than with antidepressant medications. Evidenced based talk therapies, like those that I provide, also have the added benefit of reducing the risk of these conditions coming back compared to antidepressant use, which when stopped, can be associated with relapse. Many clients that come to see me have never been told this information. On a regular basis, I meet clients who tell me that all they have ever been offered is medication treatment. That is not good.

Psychiatric medications, if they work, will only work as long as you take them. However, if you meet with someone like myself and learn new skills to manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviour, these skills can potentially help you across your life time. Also, talk therapy, does not have the long list of uncomfortable potential side effects that antidepressants can have.

As a psychologist, I am not against medications. There are certain circumstances, and certain conditions, that I think medications can be quite helpful for. However, I find that most people who come to see me do not need them. I discuss with patients the pros and cons of the treatment options that we have available to us and I let them decide which options will suit them best. If they decide to use medications, that is ok. They can continue to see me while they get medications from their GP or other provider.

If you seek help for a mental health issue, it is not a sign of weakness any more than seeking help from your GP, your car mechanic, or your accountant is a sign of weakness. Everyone needs help sometimes. It is a sign of intelligence and common sense to treat a mental health issue just as you would seek help from your GP if you broke your leg. Life is too short to be unhappy all the time. For close to the price of one fill up at a gas pump in New Zealand, you can meet with a provider and start down a path to feeling happy and healthy again.

How long will treatment take? That depends on many individual factors which I can discuss with clients before they come to my office. However, I can tell you that I am trained in short term treatment. Many clients report feeling relief after just a couple of sessions. I provide a brief, free, telephone consultation to each client before we schedule a time to meet in person. This gives the client a chance to ask me some questions and to get a feel for what I am like to speak with.

For further information, check out these articles:

National Institute of Health in the USA --> Visit their website
National Health Service in the UK --> Visit their website
The John's Hopkins School of Public Health,USA. --> Visit their website

What happens at the first session?

I generally meet with clients for a 50 minute session. During the first appointment, I have clients fill out a basic contact form and consent for treatment form. I also have them fill out a couple of short, easy, questionnaires about the symptoms that they have been struggling with. These forms usually take about 10 minutes. I then take a brief history and find out what the primary issues are that the client wants to work on and how long these symptoms have been a problem.

During the time that we are together, I clarify what the clients goals are for treatment and we discuss treatment options and preferences. I am trained in short term, skills based talk therapy. This means that I don’t just listen and nod. I will also teach the client new skills that they can use to manage their emotions, their thoughts, their behaviours and the physical symptoms that might come along with them. The techniques that I use are evidenced based. This means that they have been well researched and have been found to be helpful in research studies for other people who have had similar problems. This work is flexible and the client has choice about what we discuss and the skills that they learn based on their preferences. My fee for individual sessions is $160 per session. Group based work costs less. Check out my events page to see which groups are running.

"Trying something new is always a good plan."

Yvonne Anderson.